December 20, 2019
In this episode, Tony had the opportunity to meet with Walter Foxworth, Chairman of Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber, at the inaugural Texas Unity Dinner where he was honored by the Lumbermen’s Association of Texas (LAT). Walter shares his passion and purpose that drives his energy to stay engaged in the business and building materials industry.
Thanks for listening!
December 20, 2019
I am excited to share our third podcast episode featuring Walter Foxworth, Chairman of Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber. Walter joins me in our podcast goal: sharing our network of successful professionals in the industry, by educating building industry leaders on how to improve their best practices for hiring talent while also helping professionals make better career decisions.
In October, Mireya Zapata and the Lumbermen’s Association of Texas (LAT) held the inaugural Texas Unity Dinner honoring Walter Foxworth, Chairman of Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber in Dallas, TX. Foxworth-Galbraith has 35 locations, 1200 team members and over $400m in sales. They are an LBM dealer serving the residential single and multifamily housing segment, covering Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
At 84 years old, Walter has worked through six major economic market corrections and has been a highly successful business builder. In our conversation, we look to define the secrets of his personal and professional success.
How does a University of Texas master physicist end up in the lumber and building products business?
What is his passion and purpose that drives his energy to stay engaged with the business?
What is the best way for leaders to be involved in shaping federal, state and local laws that directly affect your business?
Walter has been very kind to me over the years and I have never walked away without learning something from every engagement. I hope you enjoy the conversation and his graceful wisdom as much as I did.
Hire Smarter – Tony
Thanks for listening!
December 16, 2019
As the holiday season approaches, it’s a great time to be thankful for our support network of personal and professional friends.
As we are watching college football bowl games, remember these lessons from Dabo Swinney.
Lessons in life often flow easiest around the areas where we play and have fun. I love college football for a list of reasons. Specifically, I enjoy learning from the best NCAA coaches as they face the constant challenges around recruiting, developing and promoting people. The competition is fierce in the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision, 10 conferences and 130 teams. Coaches know the team with the best talent wins while managing a constant 20% turnover rate to eligibility, not counting injuries.
The pressure to recruit, develop players and win is intense, and Dabo Swinney, the Head Coach of Clemson, has taken on mental illness head-on. Dabo’s genuine interest in his players and their health and happiness is not to be questioned. His approach breaking down the macho bravado and stigma not allowing mental illness to be the “boogie man in the closet” is a great example of innovative, great leadership. He has made mental health central to their culture. I have dropped off all 3 of my children on a vast college campus, leaving behind a wide-eyed 18-yr-old to fend for themselves. As any parent will attest, the feeling is somewhere between the best and worst emotions colliding with the realization your safety net of your child’s well-being is no longer effective. At that point in a parent’s incredible vulnerability, what impact do your think Dabo’s mental health and well being focused culture has on recruiting the nation’s best players? Dabo’s 2 national championships in the last 3 years might be a sign of its success.
Leaders interested in developing a competitive edge recruiting talent, study Dabo’s top 5 mental health practices:
1) Make mental health part of your common cultural language. Ask the tough questions: How are you managing life stress? What can we do to support you at a higher level?
2) Start with empathy. Mistrust, and at times in heavier doses, becoming paranoia, are commonly intertwined when we humans are in a vulnerable state. Leaders – start with being vulnerable, telling a story about yourself in irrational anxiety or a depressed state.
3) Lead by example: It’s ok to ask for help. The best way to shift the culture is to ask them to help you with your own behavioral ups and downs.
4) Don’t mistake physical size, strength, reptilian exterior, or masculinity for emotional resiliency.
5) Be supportive of team and social events. A sense of belonging is powerful, reflected by friendships at work.
Have fun! I have a bottle of wine for the first company that installs a kid’s slide in their business.
Top performers are typically the most insecure overachievers who have channeled their vulnerability into their professional trade. Workaholism is no different than alcoholism or drug addiction in the damage it can cause. It is as common to be physically exhausted from bouts of anxiety and depression as it is unfocused energy. At now 51 yrs old, in my view, energy is not to be wasted. Focused anxiety and depression can be your personal plutonium reactor, a perpetual energy source when practiced.
Make mental health your competitive edge!
Hire smarter! Go Badgers! – Tony
December 6, 2019
The Misura Group Team is excited to share the latest episode of our Hire Smarter podcast. Our goal is simple: share our network of successful professionals in the industry. We do this by educating building industry leaders on how to improve their best practices for hiring talent while also helping professionals make better career decisions.
In our 2nd episode, I sat down with Bradley Hartmann, the founder of Red Angle, a Spanish Language Skills and Sales Training consulting firm for the building industry. He is also the author of Behind Your Back, an excellent sales and negotiation training book that is the platform for his Behind Your Back Podcast.
There are people you admire for their intellect, achievement, empathy and innovative traits – from my view, Bradley hits on all those marks. In our conversation, we cover how he was born into the industry, honing his skills at Pulte, and his entrepreneurial endeavors as a language, cultural and sales consultant.
Have you implemented a diversity and inclusion strategy for your hiring challenges? We begin our conversation by sharing our passion for Latino/Hispanic cultures. Diving into the roots of our Hispanic interest lends more insight and understanding as to why we instantly found respect for each other. If you listen closely, you can pull another Hire Smarter best practice of focusing on minority cultures in your area that are often overlooked and rich with talent.
What is the best way to inspire self-improvement? This question might be the most common challenge for every leader. Listen closely as Bradley generously shares his highly unique methods. The magic of his sales training approach is rooted in his clear understanding of the human psychology of behaviorism. To be is human is to want to grow, understanding that individuals demand the freedom to choose where, when, how and at what pace that growth occurs. Listen to how he has adapted his sales training by leveraging the human spirit on its often irrational and erratic level, elevating the engagement, retention and implementation rate of learning.
Leaders – are your profits suffering from a sales team that is lacking negotiating skills? Sales professionals – is your income limited by your negotiating tactics? How sophisticated are your customers’ negotiating skills? Bradley and I touch on these questions also. We hope you find some answers in this episode, or better yet – ensure you are asking the right questions of how to accelerate your strategic growth plan for 2020.
The best way for us to improve is by hearing your thoughts and comments on our podcast. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Hire Smarter! – Tony
Look out for future episodes HERE
December 6, 2019
In this episode, Bradley and Tony discuss their mutual “why” of helping companies achieve their big goals, the importance of an inclusive culture and embracing diversity, and the value consultants bring to the building materials industry.
Thanks for listening!
December 2, 2019
“IF you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you….”
– IF by Rudyard Kipling
The Pittsburgh Steelers are an incredible example of selecting great leaders. The Steelers have had 3 Head Coaches in the past 50 years. From 1969 to the present: Chuck Knoll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. Remember, the NFL average tenure is roughly 4 years, meaning the average team has had 12 coaches over the same period. Exactly how successful have they been? The Steelers are tied for #1 in the NFL with 6 Super Bowl wins and rank #2 in Super Bowl appearances at 8. All 3 coaches have contributed to their Super Bowl achievements.
Recently we had the chance to watch Mike Tomlin in action in what might have been the most intense, emotionally-charged situation in the NFL in recent history. I’m guessing that many have viewed the video of the Steelers vs. Browns brawl on Nov 14. The highlight reel of Myles Garrett, the defensive end of the Browns, using a helmet like a sledgehammer to hit Mark Rudolph, the Steelers quarterback, on top of his helmetless head, seems to run on an endless loop on every TV channel.
While most viewers focused on the players, I studied the leaders – specifically Mike Tomlin. If you watch closely in this next video, you can see the emotional intensity and underlying rage in his eyes, yet he remains calm and in control. In the video below, he communicates clearly, keeping his hand gestures to a minimum, often with his hands in his pockets to maintain a physically constrained body position.
What we are witnessing is his lifetime-practiced art of being calm, cool and collected under intense pressure. It’s common to believe that your emotional state controls your body position and movement. If you are enraged and protecting your family, you might throw a punch and assault someone; if your favorite song is playing, you are more likely to sing, dance and feel happy. It’s helpful to understand when facing intense, emotionally-charged situations that it’s easier to start by controlling your body position and movement, knowing your emotional state will follow. In this video of the post-game press conference, we can see Mike controlling his body movements in action.
He begins acting like it’s just another press conference. Notice Mike’s posture: hands are calmly placed forward, resting on the podium. He is relaxed, his eye contact is direct and straight forward, no one in the room doubts who is in control. He starts by quoting facts, listing common injuries and that Mayfield, quarterback for the Browns, played well, extending plays.
The press asks, “Mike, what were your thoughts of what happened at the end?”
Mike: “I will keep my thoughts to myself. You guys saw what happened at the end.”
Journalist: “You have no comment on it?”
Mike: “That’s exactly what I said, I have no comment.”
Journalist: “Have you ever seen anything like that at the end of the game?”
Mike: “No more questions regarding that, because I am saying nothing.”
Mike is confident, knowing that saying nothing is best. He stands his ground through all 3 questions from the press. An inexperienced leader would have allowed themselves to be sucked into the high emotional state, pleading the case for their team and only making the situation worse. Respecting his emotional state and a high probability of having an emotional, biased view, he wisely buys himself time by saying nothing. A journalist responds with a general question: “How concerned are you about your offense?” Notice his body posture and tone – he shrugs his shoulders and speaks like it’s just another post-game conference.
Mike: “You know I am concerned, but you know, we did not get it done tonight. And that’s my level of concern. It does not carry over to the upcoming weeks and things of that nature. We will evaluate this and assess who is available to us and plot a course to move forward.”
Young leaders – have patience. Very few, if anyone, is born this calm and cool under pressure. It is a skill that requires focused practice; watch the body movements and nonverbal cues of your favorite leaders or movie actors. Take a notepad and log their nonverbals related to specific emotions or behaviors and in different environments with different personality types.
– Breadth of command
– Calm in the face of chaos
Physical movement is highly effective in controlling your emotional state. Non-verbal skills have a dramatic impact on how your message is received. Our primal brains have been trained to survive by detecting fear and mistrust along with selecting who we should allow to lead us. Humans respond quickly to the psychology of the delivery; it is your decision whether you make it your advantage.
Hire Smarter – Tony
November 22, 2019
The Misura Group Team is excited to launch our first Hire Smarter podcast. Our goal is simple: share our network of successful professionals in the industry and educating building industry leaders how to improve their best practices for hiring talent, while also helping professionals make better career building decisions.
In our first episode, I met up with Russ Kathrein at the LBM Strategies Conference in Austin, TX. LBM Strategies is a terrific conference for lumber and building material dealers selling to general contractors, a well-attended conference by some of the most recognized companies in the lumber and building materials industry. Russ Kathrein is the CEO of Alexander Lumber ($100m in sales, 10 locations, and 2 truss plants) and was presenting on Best Practices Developing the Next Generation of Leaders.
What key steps do you take to build your career to become a President or CEO? Russ’ journey offers young upcoming professionals some great insight. He consistently evaluated the company and leader he was working for and made career decisions, stretching and growing. The pattern of taking measured career risk is a Hire Smarter key trait when identifying talent.
Is your company struggling to recruit talent? Listen closely as we talk about mentorship and development as a key Hire Smarter best practice. We address the most significant obstacles leaders face while mentoring 20-somethings and the best steps to develop great mentoring leaders.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on our podcast.
Hire Smarter! – Tony
Look out for future episodes here
November 22, 2019
In our inaugural episode, Russ Kathrein, CEO of Alexander Lumber, and Tony met up at the LBM Strategies Conference and had a great time sharing stories and addressing the most significant obstacles that leaders face when mentoring twenty-somethings and the best steps to develop great mentoring leaders.
Thanks for listening!
November 4, 2019
A great “thank you” to Matt Ogden, Steve Swinney, and Dave Flitman. Also to NLBMDA and HBSDealer for putting on a great conference.
The goal of our panel was to give insights from 3 of the top industry leaders. Each of the leader’s business models are unique. Our hope was that other industry leaders could capture tools they could then take back and implement in their own business. Matt Ogden, Founder and Managing Principal of Building Industry Partners, who was part of the startup US LBM and went on to build Homewood Lumber and US Fence. Steve Swinney, CEO and Founder of Kodiak Building Partners and Dave Flitman, CEO of BMC.
For my opening remarks I asked everyone to eliminate the word “retention”. Often it’s used when looking at the past result of performance. The trouble with perpetual problems is they attract the same language that does nothing to solve the problem. Instead, replace “retention” and start asking questions.
Are we hiring smart?
Are we developing and promoting people?
Are we growing healthy attractive cultures?
By focusing on the action steps and making it part of our daily language everyone will take great strides in solving their people problems.
Dave Flitman on how to maintain the culture in a company with 9,000 people
Dave shares how BMC follows 5 key tenets that set the tone for the entire company culture across 19 states and over 40 different metro markets.
Steve Swinney on collaborative culture
Steve explains how Kodiak Buliding Partners maintains their culture by being locally driven, entrepreneurial, and honoring the legacy of all of the companies that join the Kodiak family.
“The number 1 driver of success for Building Industry Partners (BIP) is the people – an A+ leader attracts and retains A+ talent.”
– Matt Ogden, Building Industry Partners
“Hiring, developing, and promoting people – that is the action element that is going to solve the problem.”
– Tony Misura, Misura Group
The personality and character of the CEO defines the culture of the company. Each of these leaders brings a unique value and business model to attract talent. How does your personality and character impact your company culture? Looking in the mirror might be the best place for leaders to start who want to improve their people problems.
Hire Smarter – Tony
|· Market Sales Manager with full P&L responsibility for a $20m specialty building materials distributor and manufacturer with install
· Inherited a team with 20% declining sales, implemented a culture of accountability and metrics measurement leading to growth of 15% in the first year
· Inherited a location with failing machinery leading to production delays, worked with other plants and local competitors to expedite production and prioritized customer experience by meeting with all clients to ensure retention
· Utilized 4DX methodology to drive daily, weekly, and monthly sales objectives leading to 30% 2-year growth
To learn more about this professional, contact Michele Burger
September 3, 2019
If you focus on collecting the relevant facts, the appropriate action becomes obvious.
Following are the top 3 criteria we cover right away when evaluating General Manager talent.
#1 Experience is not equal to Proven History of Success. Be aware of the experience trap. Professionals holding the position over several years is not a leading indicator of success. Financials don’t lie.
What was the P&L you inherited and what did you grow it to?
#2 It’s about the People. The level of leadership revolves around the quality of people they can attract, develop and promote. Young smart people want to be mentored – some leaders are good mentors, some are not.
How many people have you recruited, developed and promoted?
How many were in their 20’s when you recruited them?
#3 Nothing else matters. Look for repetitions of #1 and #2.
Hire Smarter – Tony
Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
Laszlo was the senior HR Leader for Google, responsible for growing the company from 6,000 to 60,000 people, while maintaining the ridiculous high standards. How high? It’s 25 times easier to get into Harvard than Google. Google hired 0.25% of the people who applied – by comparison Harvard admits 6.1% of its applicants.
Battling Regression to Mean as the business scaled up was critical to their strategy.
The “Why” is proven by their 4.76x stock appreciation, $168 per share when he started and over $800 when he left.
The “How” is compelling and the book goes into great detail, providing an insightful read.
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